Handbook of Research on Strategy Process
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Handbook of Research on Strategy Process

Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns

The Handbook of Research on Strategy Process reveals the current state of the art of strategy process research as a whole as well as emerging research initiatives. It also discusses managerial and organizational factors affecting strategy implementation.
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Chapter 5: Strategy Process Research and the RBV: Social Barriers to Imitation

Patrick Regnér


Patrick Regnér INTRODUCTION The primary mission of strategy process research has been to analyse how strategies develop. While the approach taken has varied between diverse research efforts, conclusions have confirmed that strategy making is much more complex than top management strategy design and choice, as often explicitly or implicitly assumed in strategy content research (e.g. Rumelt et al., 1994). At the most fundamental level it has been concluded that contexts matter for strategy development and change (e.g. sociocultural, cognitive, political influences). Unfortunately the consequences of this for strategy outcome and content have often not been spelled out (Chakravarty and White, 2002), and if they have been analysed it has frequently been through the lens of flawed and biased processes where various contextual influences distort strategy making. The focus has been on how social contexts and interests disturb economic interests rather than on how they can shape economic outcomes. While strategy process studies have provided much valuable contributions to strategic management research it would benefit from relating more explicitly to strategy content and outcome (Chakravarty and White, 2002). The division between strategy process and content research is artificial and process examinations may complement and inform strategy content research in many ways. This essay proposes that there are important synergies between strategy process research and resource and capabilities views, which have dominated much of strategy content research during the last decade. The basic argument follows other scholars that have pointed towards a potential fertile combination between the two research strands, as...

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